Understanding Psychosis: Exploring Therapy Options for Effective Treatment

Psychosis is a mental disorder that involves hallucinations and delusions. People might hear, see, or taste things differently. They might believe things that are rationally not true. It can affect an individual’s perception, emotions, and behavior. Psychosis is multifactorial and is triggered by severe depression, schizophrenia, stress, traumatic experiences, brain tumors, drug abuse, alcohol abuse, and bipolar disorder.

Early diagnosis and treatment of psychosis have better outcomes. The treatment involves antipsychotic medication, psychosis therapy, and social support. Psychosis usually affects people in their mid-20s; however, it can also affect people at a young or old age.

Causes Of Psychosis

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Psychosis is multifactorial and does not have a definite cause. Stress, severe depression, and anxiety are other factors that trigger it.

  1. Schizophrenia
  2. Bipolar Disorder
  3. Parkinson’s Disease
  4. Alzheimer’s Disease
  5. Dementia
  6. Sleep deprivation
  7. Medications
  8. Drug abuse
  9. Alcohol abuse

Signs And Symptoms Of Psychosis

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Signs and symptoms can more easily identify a person with psychosis than a physical examination. Behavioral changes are easily identified in a person with psychosis. The following signs and symptoms are prevalent in a person with psychosis:

  1. Suspicious and uneasy nature
  2. Confused and irrational thinking
  3. Isolation
  4. Intense feelings
  5. Decreased self-care or personal hygiene
  6. Difficulty communicating
  7. Decreased job performance
  8. Anxiety
  9. No motivation
  10. Emotional disruption

Treatment Of Psychosis

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The treatment plan for psychosis involves antipsychotic medications, therapies, and social support.

Medication-Assisted Therapy: These are known to have side effects that vary according to the person. They may cause the following side effects:

  • Drowsiness
  • Weight gain
  • Blurry vision
  • Constipation
  • Dizziness
  • Dry mouth

Psychological Treatment: The psychological treatment plan is formulated as per the individual’s recovery goals. It helps patients develop resilience and cope. Psychosis therapy helps the patient deal with anxiety. The two most common psychological therapies are:

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): The therapy helps people understand why they are distressed and apply coping mechanisms. The therapy replaces your irrational thinking with a more rational attitude. The therapist will help you reduce the stress. It focuses on immediate, practical solutions to specific needs rather than dwelling on the history of causes. CBT focuses on replacing self-destructive behaviors with positive ones.

The therapist will use role-playing, journaling, and visualization to overcome damaging cognitive behavior patterns. CBT is effective for both immediate and long-term healing. It is the best treatment choice for early recovery.

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Family Therapy prepares both you and your family to deal with your condition. Psychosis will affect your family members more than you. The person with psychosis might need the care and support of the family. The family must learn how to tackle such a condition.

  • The family learns about the condition and its complications.
  • How to support
  • How to manage psychotic episodes

Group Therapy: Though people with psychosis prefer to be isolated, being with similar people will help them open up and talk about their thinking. Group therapy can have the following modalities:

Process-sensitive groups: It helps the patient see them more clearly. The unconscious group processes are examined. It visualizes healing as an extension of the healing of people within the group.

Directive approach: This approach involves setting goals and making direct interventions.

Heterogeneous groups: This includes people with a variety of mental health conditions. Though it is more complex, it also provides a lot of opportunities for relationships that can benefit the group.

Homogenous group: This includes individuals with similar issues, goals, and backgrounds. Creates cohesion and relatability quickly.

Psychodynamic Therapy: This therapy deals with the unconscious mind, interpersonal relationships, and early childhood experiences. It is also called “insight-oriented therapy”. It is one of the oldest therapies. This therapy helps you reflect on how unresolved conflicts affect your current behavior.

A deep understanding helps you find solutions to your disruptive behavior and inner turmoil. The therapy is highly effective for depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and personality disorders. The therapy enhances your self-esteem, increases your tolerance, and results in strength awareness.

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Relational Therapy: Interpersonal relationships have a profound impact on mental well-being. In such cases, relational therapy is preferred. This therapy involves exploring social interactions, sociocultural factors, and childhood experiences. This therapy helps you healthily relate to yourself and others. The therapist creates a supportive, trusting alliance with the client that helps them understand how a positive relationship functions.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy: The therapy involves self-reflective and skill-based intervention. The patient develops mindfulness, which allows him to observe and participate in a non-judgmental way in his present environment. It also decreases emotional volatility. The therapist will help develop a stress tolerance. The patient will gain control over their thoughts, actions, and feelings. It teaches how to participate in a fulfilling and mutually beneficial relationship. The therapy helps regulate emotions and validate emotional experiences.

Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy: It is similar to CBT. It helps the patient identify negative emotions and challenges them to replace them with positive and rational ones.

Social Learning Theory: The ideology of this theory is that people will learn through observation by seeing others getting rewarded or punished.

Humanistic or experiential therapy: This therapy engages a holistic approach and focuses on the individual and their ability to grow and heal. It includes two modalities.

Gestalt therapy focuses on present feelings rather than their causes. It involves role play, physical movement, and reenacting events.

Person-centered therapy: The therapy is focused on the belief that individuals know what they want and how they want it. It is a non-directive approach, where the therapist provides a supportive environment to investigate and identify feelings.

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy: It is under extensive research. The therapy involves moving the eye from side to side, and the therapist desensitizes the traumatic memory to something more adaptive.


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The therapist might employ a group of therapies to help the patient and alter their behavior. Psychosis can affect the lifestyle of both the patient and their family. Long-term treatment and an early diagnosis are helpful for the patient. Choosing the right therapy depends on the goals. The patient can also ask questions before choosing any therapy. The therapy will not reverse the condition, but will help the patient cope and live an independent life.